Corporate Social Responsibility: Guidelines for Top Management

By Jerry W. Anderson Jr. | Go to book overview

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Social Responsibility and the Corporation

A company's social responsibility program has three major areas: complying with laws, setting -- and abiding by -- moral and ethical standards, and philanthropic giving. How can firms evaluate their strengths in each of these areas?

Social responsibility is a major subject of concern and action for all but the smallest or least aware of companies. Today it is generally accepted that business firms have social responsibilities that extend well beyond what in the past was commonly referred to simply as the "business economic function." In earlier times managers, in most cases, had only to concern themselves with the economic results of their decisions. Today managers must also consider and weigh the legal, ethical, moral, and social impact and repercussions of each of their decisions.In many company organizations, however, this area of social responsibility is often not identified as a major or separate functional area. Quite often the responsibility for actions in this area is vested in an individual or small staff, frequently within the human resources management area. Personnel assigned to this area, then, have responsibility for social issues in three major areas:
1. Total compliance with international, federal, state, and local legislative laws and acts
2. Moral and ethical standards and procedures under which the firm will operate
3. Philanthropic giving

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